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Diamond Peak, Incline Village, Nevada

Diamond Peak often is less crowded than the other large Tahoe areas and perfect for families.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe NevadaBigger is not always better, nor desirable. For skiers and snowboarders who don’t want the expansive terrain of most Lake Tahoe resorts, let us recommend Diamond Peak Ski Resort, a medium-sized but exquisite jewel that destination vacationers too often overlook.

Diamond Peak often is less crowded than the other large Tahoe areas and perfect for families. Visitors repeatedly remark about that this is a very friendly area. Take a camera—the view is beautiful.

With runs knifing down through Ponderosa Pines along a long single ridge, Diamond Peak offers an excellent family mountain where all trails funnel to a single base area. The views down toward the lake are spectacular and the early-morning groomed corduroy alongside powder seems to drop right into the water.

The tougher trails drop from the crest of the ridge traced by Crystal Ridge and the intermediate trails are clustered within sight of the base lodge. Intermediates can’t go too far wrong at this resort and advanced skiers will have a good time frolicking at the higher reaches of the resort.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe NevadaDiamond Peak is only 27 miles from Reno, Nev. This very upscale community is the closest Lake Tahoe ski area to the gambling center. A Hyatt Regency hotel anchors what for the most part makes up the “resort.” In reality, this is a small bedroom community with a collection of condos and one casino hotel and a very good mid-sized ski area with great views.

Don’t expect to find wild nightlife outside of the Hyatt Casino. The village highlight after the recreation center seems to be the bowling alley with a virtual golf course. If you head further north to the Crystal Bay area or into Reno, you can find plenty of nightlife from playing slots to major floorshows.

The Ski Tahoe North Interchangeable ticket (1 877-949-3296) allows guests to ski/snowboard at Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak, Homewood, Mt. Rose, Northstar, Squaw Valley and Sugar Bowl and accommodates those looking for the best conditions. There are wind holds on some mountains on some days and snow conditions vary from resort to resort. The ticket is $58 per person, per day for two-or-more-day tickets, is valid all season and doesn’t need to be used on consecutive days. Tickets are two-for-one at Homewood and Diamond Peak.